Bell County Schools will have full-time substitute teachers

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

The new Bell County Superintendent says due to budget problems, seven Bell County teachers were laid off. However, the school board is trying to find ways to ease the crunch.

In a few weeks, students will fill Bell County schools again, but there will be fewer teachers.
New Bell County Superintendent Yvonne Gilliam says the budget is down to $1.5 million this year, so seven teachers were let go.

"We did have to make some difficult decisions," Gilliam said.

However, the school board is trying to make up for the loss. They are creating four "rotating teacher" positions, which are full-time substitutes.

"Hopefully that will help us pick-up some of these certified teachers we were not able to re-hire," Gilliam said.

Rotating teachers will only make around $15,000 dollars but will get benefits.

In another measure to make-up for losses, they are adding six "Gear Up tutor" positions.

School officials say having the rotating teachers and tutors will also help students.

"That will allow the teachers to get those benefits and by having the same person, we'll be able to establish relationships with those students, and it will be a continuous thing to where it won't be here and there, so they'll get continuous instruction," said Christel Hoskins with Gear Up.

The new superintendent says the district is still facing a tight budget year. An auditor is coming on Thursday to evaluate the the situation. The auditor will determine how much money the school board has to start the new year.

"We'll deal with whatever we have to deal with," said Gilliam.

School leaders say no matter what, they will be ready for the new school year on August 6th.

Bell County school leaders posted the "rotating teacher" and tutor positions. Officials asked KDE for a waiver so they can fill the positions before the school year starts.

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